Friday, May 20, 2011

Giants vs Dodgers May 19th

The past two games had been small crowds and not a ton of excitement in the stadium.  This was going to be the game that changed that.  After all just months ago a Giants fan was beaten into a coma over this same rivalry.  So on my walk to the stadium (and for anyone else thinking of walking to Dodger Stadium from Chinatown it is an interesting walk) I was excited to see a packed house of rabid fans creating a great game day experience.   Upon arriving at Dodger Stadium about 45 min early (we tried to get their earlier but got lost on the walk there) as expected the crowd had not arrived yet.  So I was still excited as some fans seemed to be pretty intense yelling at the top of their lungs from the upper decks, my excitement grew.  But as game time grew closer and closer Dodger Stadium was not filling up.  The game started and there were still tons of empty seats.  At this point I remembered what a friend of mine from LA had said about LA people, they like to show up fashionably late.  However, there were still about 20 sections that were completely empty.  As the game dragged on it then became apparent that this stadium was not going to fill up.  Although the announced attendance was 34, 248 my dad and I estimated the real number to be closer to 25,000.  The place was empty.  Not only were there 20 empty sections the entire game but every section had empty seats.  This was supposed to be the top west coast rivalry and they can't even get remotely close to a sell out.

And the sad part about this was that the lack of fans was even the worse part of the game.  First I have some advice for anyone going to Dodger Stadium, don't sit in Row A of section 40 field level.  This is the first row behind the box seats and they have not put enough height between it and the boxes in front of you to allow you to see over the people in the row in front of you.  We ended up moving seats backwards to have any shot at seeing the game.  The worst part was that these people weren't there to watch a baseball game.  They were there to be at the stadium and had no idea what was going on in the game, which can be easily seen by people constantly walking up and down the isles blocking the view of other fans.  One interesting note about the fans was that at no other stadium have I seen fans get this excited to be on the megatron.  In most stadiums they get pretty excited but these fans took it to the next level.

Ok enough about the the stadium, what about the game?  Well the first thing that needs to be talked about is the brilliant pitching performance of Madison Bumgarner.  He pitch 8.2 great innings and was one out away from a shutout.  However, with that one out left he got himself into a jam, gave up a run, and Brian Wilson was brought into the game (something I was happy about since its Brian Wilson).  He however, almost blew the game and if it weren't for a diving catch by Nate Schierholtz he would have had a blown save.  But back to Bumgarner who earned his first win on the season and looked like the prize prospect he was once thought to be.  The other player on the Giants side that I was interested to see was Buster Posey.  Again a former top prospect who has been great in his short MLB career.  He did not disappoint going 1-3 with a double, a run, a walk, and a HBP.

On the Dodger's side, they had Chad Billingsley going.  When I saw this pitching matchup I got very excited because they are both young promising pitchers.  Billingsley pitched a decent game,a quality start, going six inning and giving up only 3 runs.  However, he couldn't match Bumgarner and got the loss.  A few intersting player notes from the dodgers side was the pinch hitting of Tony Gwynn Jr.  He is obviously nowhere as good as his father but good to see bloodlines continue in the game especially ones as good as Gwynns.  Another interesting not of a player I had forgotten about was that former Oriole Jay Gibbons is on the Dodgers, which I had no idea about.

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